The Australian National Maritime Museum’s iconic rooftop, evoking sails and waves, will be illuminated this summer with two projections each sharing important stories in Australia’s maritime history. Premiering on 26th of January, Remembering Mabo reflects on the historic Mabo decision and the Native Title ruling. It will be screened in conjunction with the award winning Waves of Migration, exploring the history of migration to Australia.

Remembering Mabo

Directed and animated by Aboriginal artist Jake Duczynski in collaboration with Jono Delbridge, Remembering Mabo shares the important story of the 1992 case for native title in Australia known as Mabo v Queensland (No 2). Eddie Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander, was the lead plaintiff in the case which challenged the notion of terra nullis in the High Court. The Mabo case ran for 10 years, eventually leading to the recognition and protection of native title across Australia through the introduction of the Native Title Act.

The bold and bright projection begins in Eddie Mabo’s homeland, the Island of Mer in the Torres Strait, and highlights his 1981 speech in which he talked about his people’s beliefs about their ownership of the land. It goes on to demonstrate how this speech led to the lengthy court case which eventually redressed the declaration that Australia belonged to no one. It closes with a map of Australia depicting the many communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have lived here for millennia.

Remembering Mabo features Constellation 2, an artwork by Eddie Mabo’s daughter Gail Mabo which is part of the Australian National Maritime Collection.

The two and a half minute projection is set to a collaborative soundtrack by Oliver Hollenbach and Torres Strait Islander musician Mau Power.

Artist Jake Duczynski said, “It’s an honour and a privilege to deliver a projection that will remind the many people who visit Darling Harbour each evening about Eddie Mabo and what he and the plaintiffs achieved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights; and that Indigenous voices will be heard, literally off the rooftops in Sydney”

Remembering Mabo complements the museum’s current free exhibition Gapu-Monuk Saltwater which shares how the Yolŋu people of northeast Arnhem Land fought for and won their case for Indigenous sea rights.

Waves of Migration

Waves of Migration is a thought-provoking eight-minute animated projection that weaves together Australia’s rich tapestry of migration stories. It follows the journeys of migrant boats, across oceans and cultures, through the passage of time.

The projection depicts a fascinating array of personal stories from British convicts and early settlers, Jewish refugees and displaced persons from war-torn Europe, to Ten Pound Poms, Vietnamese boat people and seaborne asylum seekers from Afghanistan. Together these waves of migration have made Australia the multi-cultural country it is today.

First launched in 2013, the awards winning projection has become a traditional part of the museum’s summer offering. It is complemented by the 100-metre-long Welcome Wall and vast collection of more than 10,000 immigration artefacts, personal diaries, letters and photographs, to be a lasting tribute to the millions of people who have emigrated from around the world to settle in Australia.

Remembering Mabo and Waves of Migration launch on 26 January and will run in rotation 8.30 – 10.30pm until 11 February. The free projections are suitable for all ages and are best viewed from Pyrmont Bridge and around the King Street Wharf area at Darling Harbour. For more information call 02 9298 3777 or log onto

The Australian National Maritime Museum, in Darling Harbour, is open from 9.30am to 6pm daily in the summer period. All enquiries (02) 9298 3777 or visit

Media contact – Jude Timms (02) 9298 3645;
0418 219 841;